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Interview - Anna Schuster

28 Feb 2020

Fabric manipulation - Sustainable and individual fabric design with the participants from "Guidos Masterclass"

Anna Schuster: Redesign through fabric manipulation

Anna Schuster and Dominique Watral were participants in "Guido's Masterclass" at the beginning of 2019, a VOX show with star designer Guido Maria Kretschmer, who was looking for new young talents all over Europe. Twelve up-and-coming designers face various challenges that require plenty of creativity and a feel for current fashion trends and hip styles.

Inspired by the Masterclass, Anna Schuster and Dominique Watral will be giving a workshop on the second day of the fair on the subject of "fabric manipulation". In an interview, Anna Schuster reveals what the experience in the Masterclass was like, what fabric manipulation actually is and what awaits the participants in the workshop.

You were a participant in Guido's master class. Why did you attend?

Dominique, me and the other participants were interested in showing how to do things again by yourself. The problem with the fast fashion industry and today's fashion is that many people don't even know how to sew a t-shirt or dress, how an elastic band works or how a zipper is sewn in. We wanted to show the broad German public, who have lost awareness of handicrafts, how fashion and style are created.

We also saw it as an opportunity to make the process of fashion creation a little more transparent. Fashion designers and fashion houses often work behind closed doors. We wanted to break that down and invite people to watch the creative process. Making a garment is not as easy as it looks: Sketch it out, choose the fabric, sew it, and you're done. We wanted to show that pattern construction and sampling are also part of the process and what it takes to become a fashion designer, what we think and how we work. We also wanted to radiate the community feeling as fashion designers, we all got along very well.

What have you learned from this experience for the future?

It was super exciting to face new challenges again and again, to think about new customers and topics and then to develop designs for them. It was also something new for all of us to be in front of the camera. In this day and age of social media and all the new technologies that are available to us, it's easy to share things and we should do more of that. There are people who care how we work, how our designs are created, where we get our inspiration from. It's great to be able to pass on your experience and skills and spread the message that you can add value to things instead of throwing them away. That's exactly what our workshop will be about.

Your workshop is called "New Context: Redesign through Fabric Manipulation". What is that actually and what is the attraction?

Fabric manipulation is about manipulating the fabric surface. For example with beads, with embroidery or with real handicraft. With simple tricks and objects that everyone has at home, you can do a lot of things yourself. It is often assumed that you can only produce a beautiful piece if you already have a beautiful fabric. However, fabric manipulation and textile design are huge fields in themselves, which are often neglected, but which offer a good opportunity to develop your own individual creation, which demonstrates your own taste and individual message.

What awaits the participants in your workshop?

We show the participants with which simple things that you either already have at home or things that you can simply buy, things that you can easily upgrade yourself. The bottom line is that it's all about upgrading fabrics and anyone can do this easily at home without much previous knowledge and then share it with friends and family.

For example, you can also upgrade old home textiles or give old things a second life. Through fabric manipulation, embroidery, lettering, and many simple tricks, you can transform fabric and let off steam creatively. We want to bring this do-it-yourself, which used to be quite commonplace, back to the participants.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Author: Antje Bussinger